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More boating during warmer summers?

May 11, 2007
 
Will warmer summers mean more boating as people attempt to cool off? If a new NASA study is right, that may well be the case. The study, undertaken by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, uses computer modeling to suggest possible future temperature trends. The study suggests that greenhouse-gas warming may raise average summer temperatures in the eastern U.S. nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the 2080s.

This illustration is a computer model projection of average daily maximum temperatures over the eastern United States for July 2085 (at left) and July 1993 (right). Areas in violet shading show temperatures of 26°C (79°F); green 30°C (86°F); yellow 34°C (93°F); red 38°C (100°F); dark purple 42°C (108°F).

From the press release: "There is the potential for extremely hot summertime temperatures in the future, especially during summers with less-than-average frequent rainfall," said lead author Barry Lynn of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University, New York.

The research found that eastern U.S. summer daily high temperatures that currently average in the low-to-mid-80s (degrees Fahrenheit) will most likely soar into the low-to-mid-90s during typical summers by the 2080s. In extreme seasons — when precipitation falls infrequently — July and August daily high temperatures could average between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit in cities such as Chicago, Washington, and Atlanta.

To reach their conclusions, the researchers analyzed nearly 30 years of observational temperature and precipitation data and also used computer model simulations that considered soil, atmospheric, and oceanic conditions and projected changes in greenhouse gases. The simulations were produced using a widely-used weather prediction model coupled to a global model developed by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Edit Module